Tanya Younce, M.Ed., LPCC

513.795.2562

Six Ways To See Your Life With New Eyes

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”

–Proust

If four different people witness a car accident, each on different corners of an intersection, and the police interview them all afterwards, they’re most likely going to get four different stories based on their vantage point.  

Same accident — four different reports.

If life really is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it, then it means that our reactions to situations, people, and things are all based on our personal perspectives — whichever corner of the intersection we happen to be on at the time.  

There are times when we find ourselves in situations or relationships that are stressful, hurtful, frustrating, or simply boring — and yet we cannot change them (at least at the time).  My first advice to clients is to find a different approach with which to see the issue at hand, because it can make a world of difference.

Six Ways To See Your Life With New Eyes 

  • Organize something.  I don’t care if it’s your closet, your office, or the drawers in your kitchen.  Clearing out the old and revitalizing the new in a different way has a significant effect on how we see our capabilities.  One successful organization project can lead to many more, as you build increasing evidence of your ability to really transform something.
  • Change your lenses.  If you know you look at your life through gray-colored lenses, then make an effort to list the people, situations, and things for which you are grateful each day, for at least 2 weeks.  There’s no doubt that this will change your general attitude for the better.  The grass grows where it’s watered, so if you’re paying more attention to positive things, those things will automatically pop out for you more frequently.
  • Get a new look.  Physical makeovers do more than just make you look better.  It also gives you a shift in confidence and the way you carry yourself.  Take on a new hair color and/or style, buy clothes you wouldn’t normally wear, get a spray tan, or go big and get some plastic surgery! The point is, you and others will respond to the new look differently and as a result, your life will naturally feel newer.
  • Revitalize your marriage (or other long-term relationship).  When we get older or have been through new experiences, sometimes the old way of being with each other doesn’t work as well.  Talk to each other about what new needs or wants have developed and be open to responding to each other differently.  I know old habits are hard to break, but try to incorporate new activities or daily regimes that fit better and breathe more passion and energy into your relationship.
  • Embrace physical fitness.  If you haven’t already done so, start taking better care of your body — whether it means joining a gym, playing tennis, taking walks or runs, doing yoga, or changing to a healthier diet.  Choose something that you enjoy and can stay committed to, then reap the benefits of your body’s new energy.  Improving our physical health can easily help us see our lives from a new perspective.
  • Make a new home.  If you’re able, packing up and moving your belongings into a brand new place, possibly even in a new area, can be very therapeutic.  If you can’t move, then redecorating can be also be very cathartic.  I’ve seen couples grow closer because they’ve partnered together to make home projects happen.  I’ve also known individuals who’ve moved into a new area, after a divorce or other loss, which helped them make new friends and have new places to go in order to give their world another perspective.

Elizabeth Gilbert wrote, in Eat, Pray, Love, that her favorite Italian word was attraversiamo, which meant “let’s cross over.”  It’s symbolic in many ways, but here I’d like to use it to symbolize the effort we often need to make to look at the same situation from a new angle, gaining new perspective on that which we cannot change. 

So if one car accident can reap four different reports, don’t limit your life to only one interpretation — cross the street.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>